Verdict from 2 experts and 100+ user reviews

9 reasons to buy

  • Most of the Jordan 8 Retro owners say that the leather in the upper is of high quality. Some share that they love how “buttery” and soft the leather feels to the touch. Another says that the shoe’s quality is “well worth the price paid.”
  • Because of the soft and premium leather, some of the reviewers say that these basketball shoe from the Jordan brand doesn’t need much break-in time.
  • Even if the shoe's outsole is mostly flat, a lot of users observe that traction works well. One expert reviewer commends the Jordan 8 Retro's traction because it outperformed some other basketball shoes that feature the classic herringbone pattern.
  • A few wearers say that the shoe is one of the more comfortable Air Jordan shoes they’ve worn. A reviewer shares, “The overall comfort is insane. I wear ‘em sometimes without socks, just for like 2 or 3 minutes around the house, or to take out the trash, and it’s unbelievable how silky smooth and comfortable they feel.”
  • Several users feel that the high-top collar and the decoupled midsole provide great ankle and arch support.
  • Many buyers note that they feel great whenever they wear the shoe. One comments that he feels like he’s rich when the shoe is on his feet. Another says that the shoe is a head-turner.
  • These high-top performance basketball shoe runs true to size, buyers report.
  • Most testers say that the shoe feels very snug and secure because of the leather cross-straps on the upper.
  • A couple of reviewers love the inner sleeve as it makes the Jordan 8 Retro feel so plush.

5 reasons not to buy

  • An expert reviewer says that the Air Jordan 8 Retro’s cushion is very dense; making the paint on the midsole chip and crease easily.
  • Several wearers note that because of the layers of material on the upper, the shoe feels hot.
  • At 18 ounces, sneakerheads consider the Jordan 8 Retro to be the heaviest Jordan sneaker. A player comments that due to the weight of the shoe, he feels like he cannot move fast.
  • Some shoe owners observe that the midsole of some of the Jordan 8 models crumble after just a few years.
  • The shoe’s lack of ventilation has caused Athlete’s foot to wearers.

Bottom line

Overall, the Jordan 8’s strapped design effectively locks the foot down, making sure that internal slips are unheard of. Although traction is decent, the shoe’s weight and non-breathability pull the shoe a few notches down in terms of playability.

The shoe, nonetheless, is great for streetwear. Coupled with jogger jeans, the Jordan 8 can definitely steal the limelight.

Tip: see the best basketball shoes.

Good to know

Zeroing in on providing the most secure lockdown, Tinker Hatfield combines striking visuals and cross-straps to bring about the eighth iteration of the famous Air Jordan–a shoe that is distinct from all the other Air Jordan silhouettes.

The AJ 8 is obviously quite pricier than the typical signature shoe. Other Jordan shoes such as the highly-coveted first Jordan shoe, and the hugely innovative 33rd Michael Jordan are more affordable and more suitable for casual wear.

Cushion. Originally, the Jordan 8 featured a Polyurethane midsole. It later switched to a more stable foam called Phylon. This foam encapsulates two separate Air units, one at the forefoot and one at the heel.

Traction. Much of the shoe’s traction area is rough and flat with holes of differing sizes scattered all over. Surprisingly, this outsole provides just as much grip as the next basketball shoe despite of it being herringbone-less.

Length and Width. The shoe is true to size. If purchasing online, go with your standard Air Jordan basketball sizing.

Lockdown. Other than the traditional lacing system, the shoe features a unique leather cross-strap. The strap starts from the base and crosses over to the opposite side of the shoe, pulling the ankle and maximizing the shoe’s hold on the foot.

Involving several layers, the Air Jordan 8 Retro has an internal padded cleatie that is reminiscent of the Jordan 7. A perforated external layer, usually made of leather, suede, or nubuck depending on the colorway, covers the cleatie. This outer shell is also overlaid with other different materials such as the molded synthetic material on the ankle collar and leather on the cross-straps.

A TPU plate makes up the sides of the heel, providing support and heel lockdown. Phylon is used on the midsole together with Nike’s classic Air unit, while the outsole utilizes a solid rubber compound. The recessed area on the shoe’s bottom allows for a smooth ride.

Released after Tinker Hatfield’s 1992 outdoor-only Air Raid basketball shoe, the Air Jordan 8 fashions a similar strap that runs across the upper. Built for functionality and style, the strap not only delivers a solid lockdown but also adds a multidimensional aesthetics.

Additionally, the bold colors of the TPU side panels and the Chenille Jumpman logo on the tongue add a unique flair and personality.

The Air Jordan 8 has been re-released in other colorways. The following are some of the most recent ones:

  • Air Jordan 8 Retro Cool Grey
  • Air Jordan 8 Retro White/Metallic Gold/Varsity Red
  • Air Jordan 8 Retro Black/Metallic Gold/Varsity Red

Even so, the most popular ones will always be the first three colorways: Bugs Bunny, Aqua and the Playoffs.

Air Jordan 8 Bugs Bunny

The Air Jordan 8 Bugs Bunny colorway was a product of the Nike Air Jordan and Warner Bros. collaboration in 1992. The shoe features a predominantly white upper with hints of red and Bugs Bunny gray. The color combo extends into the midsole while black detailings are added to tongue and straps to complete the look.

Air Jordan 8 Aqua

Worn only once by Michael Jordan on the NBA All-Star Game in 1993, the Air Jordan 8 Aqua features a black upper with pops of concord and turquoise on the shoe’s midsole and Chenille tongue.

Air Jordan 8 Playoffs

Michael Jordan wore the Air Jordan 8 Playoffs during the 1993 NBA Finals where his team won against the Phoenix Suns in a 4-2 series. The shoe takes after the Aqua colorway’s black upper; but it has red, gray, and concord detailings on the midsole and outsole.


How Air Jordan 8 Retro ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 30% basketball shoes
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Bottom 27% Jordan basketball shoes
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Bottom 32% michael jordan basketball shoes
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The current trend of Air Jordan 8 Retro.
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Dimitrije Curcic
Dimitrije Curcic

Dimitrije Curcic has been playing basketball for over 22 years. Like Manu Ginobili, he’s a left-hander whose moves led him to a better career-shooting percentage than the Argentine himself. After playing professionally for 10 years, Dimitrije moved to coaching for two seasons before he became a basketball statistician for StatScore, and FanSided contributor for the San Antonio Spurs. Dimitrije loves to tell hoop stories through numbers and graphics and has been featured on Fansided, FiveThirtyEight, Eurohoops, and TalkBasket among the others.